October 13, 2008

On The Web: Music Technology Resources

This week, I explored the Internet and blogosphere in search of online resources containing recent and relevant information on the technological developments in the music industry in order to construct a concrete list of informational links that could act as a resource to my readers. I concentrated on websites and blogs that had a definitive and thorough focus, fulfilled the Webby and IMSA criteria and cohesively supplemented the topics I will be addressing in my blog posts. All the sites and blogs discovered in my search can be found in the linkroll on the right side of the blog, and I will briefly discuss each in this post. The first links added to the linkroll were music news blogs that provide definitive information on recent topics in a succinct fashion. Defined as “very clearheaded music industry stuff,” the Coolfer: Music and the Industry blog offers concise posts on music technology and its assimilation into the modern music business. Topics on the site range from how record labels are developing new online marketing techniques to how artists are using the Internet to compete in the fledgling industry. The Wired: Listening Post blog has a similar post style to Coolfer, but a more interactive layout that includes pictures and audio streams as well as informative entries. Another music technology blog, The Hypebot, follows a traditional blog format yet presents many of the entries in bullet form with thumbnail images, conveying only the most essential information on a large number of topics. Though less aesthetically pleasing then its counterparts, The Hypebot offers more information more quickly than the other blogs for a fast update on current topics. A good counterpoint blog to the Hypebot is the Future of Music blog maintained by Dave Kusek author of “The Future of Music.” Constructed as a keystone resource to all levels of the music business, Dave’s blog boasts smart, lengthy and detailed posts amidst multiple linkrolls of different types and categories. Since there is an almost overwhelming amount of information, readers must do some hunting to find what they are looking for and there are no images. Distorted-Loop.com has a format that mimics the others previously mentioned in this post, and is an average yet organized blog. The last music news blog included in the linkroll has a different scope than those previously described. Last HQ: The Last.fm Blog delves into the music news pertinent to Last.fm and its role in the music industry.

The next group of sites added to the linkroll feature opinion centered blogs that breach merely reporting phenomenon in the business and technology realm of the music industry. Blackrimglasses is a casual blog maintained by Ethan Kaplan, Vice President of Technology at Warner Brothers Records, in which he expresses his opinions about the business and technological aspects of the music industry in an informal, yet informative manner. The blog also features posts about “random nonsense from the music industry” and links to multimedia content, including video and streaming audio. A similar and much more renowned blog, Stereogum follows the same casual model as Blackrimglasses while commenting on industry developments, and also saves time for artists integrating multimedia into their live shows and discography. Stereogum has full streaming content within many of their posts, a developed archive of past posts and interactive statistics in the form of a linkroll to feature reader comments. Although popular, Stereogum does not pack the informational punch of the Rolling Stone: Rock & Roll Daily blog, which defines the apex of the general music news blog formula through its streaming content, matured linkable content and a time-tested brand reputation. Although Rock & Roll daily does not focus primarily on music technology, many of the general music posts integrate commentary on such topics. In the realm of blogs, search engines have started to surface that compile posts from different blogs and provide them in a common blog format. MOG.com, the blog social network, encourages users to join the community, and features select posts on their front page in a blog format. Many users post regularly about music technology. MOG.com is extremely well laid out, integrates streaming audio and video into their users experience and also links to external blogs and web pages. Similar to MOG.com, Machine Shop: The Hype Machine Blog about Hype Machine (and things we love) provides updates on the progress of the Hype Machine search engine and posts other entries about web technology's integration with the music industry. The Hype Machine search engine compiles album reviews and streaming audio according to a user's search and displays them in a series of posts.

The last group of websites that I added to the linkroll were exclusively either technology or business news websites that reported their material through articles and posts. Mashable and Tech Crunch are both technology websites that regularly report new developments in the music industry as well as computer and Internet technology. Mashable has a unique search bar at the top of their website featuring blog posts about developing web 2.0 projects that often pertain to online music promotion or distribution. Mashable and Tech Crunch are formatted like blogs with the structure of a standard website. M.E.L.O.N: Multimedia Entertainment Law Online News is an entertainment law news website going over legal issues with various new web technologies that often have to do with music. Like the technology websites, M.E.L.O.N. shares the same post format and tagging system as blogs. New Music Strategies is another website with a specific topical focus and blog format, including information about how to run an independent record label and integrate web 2.0 applications. Billboard.biz, Billboard’s online news website is a one-stop-shop for current articles on every aspect of the music industry including technological developments and chart statistics. Laid out like a condensed version of the Billboard magazine, the content is well presented and readily available. Billboard.biz is the definitive source for online music news. All the newly added linkroll resources provide current and insightful information on technology's impact on the music industry through user friendly and aesthetically pleasing websites that supplement the content on this blog.


Skyline Music - Private said...

Thanks for helping to spread the word on Hypebot.com. I'd love to hear how you and your readers would suggest making the blog more visually appealing as well as a better site.

kimrennin said...

The concept of music technology is intimately connected to both musical and technological creativity. People are constantly striving to devise new forms of expression through music, and physically creating new devices to enable them to do so. Because of this, our definition of what music technology encompasses must continually expand. Although the term is nowadays most commonly used in reference to modern electronic devices, such as a monome, it is worth noting that the piano and guitar are also examples of music technology. In the computer age, the ontological range of music technology has greatly increased. It may now be mechanical, electronic (firmware and hardware), software or indeed even purely conceptual.

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Stephen Lacy said...


Your latest post on your blog ‘A New Career in a New Town’ is well organized, very relevant and easy to comprehend. The websites you have accumulated in your linkroll provide readers of your blog an excellent opportunity to link to important and relevant information in your field. Your post flows very well as you explain the functions of each website you found. The structure of your post seemed natural, due to the fact that you clumped similar websites together. The clumping of similar websites allows for the reader to compare data on similar websites very easily without have to browse through your whole post.

The one negative I found with your post is very superficial and of aesthetic nature. When you first open up your blog all you see is the text, with no pictures. If you could somehow move your first picture up a few paragraphs so it is seen at the beginning, your post might have a better first impression. Your pictures were good pictures for this post and linked to great websites. All in all, you linkroll allows for a fellow blogger, like me, to stay up to date on music industry news as well as gain valuable knowledge on the new technologies being created in the music industry. I look forward to staying up to date on the music industry through your blog. Keep up the good work.


christopher lars carlson said...

Thanks for the post Chris! Instead of writing you a long winded comment, I wrote you a response on my own blog to further spread the word. I hope you get something out of it as I did yours.

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